Within us all, there is a desire for connection that at its essence can be called intimacy. This desire can emerge as longing, a deep calling for partnership; the innocent desire to be known and seen.
Much of our culture points to intimacy as something that is meant only for our significant partners, that it implies sex and is something to be guarded with and only shared with those closest to us. I believe that expanding our definition of what intimacy can mean and how it is shared will take us all one step closer to collective healing between humans.
The most profound and essential intimacy we can experience in this life is the one with our own hearts and spirit. Our ability to be fully intimate with others is directly proportionate with the connection we have with ourselves.
Unfortunately, in today’s modern age the capacity and skill to reveal our depths without getting lost or entangled requires a quality of personal intimacy and inner grounding most people were not taught while growing up.
It seems that for most of us, the moment we began to form awareness and cognition we were distracted away from our inner landscape. For various reasons we find ourselves in a period of human experience where it is more comfortable to connect with others than with the depths of ourselves.
Ironically, the consequence of this leads many of us, even those in partnerships, to feel isolated and lonely. This isolation seems to come from a lack of connection from others but in reality, stems from a lack of deep relationship with ourselves.
When we aren’t with someone who is giving us validation, comfort, and recognition, who are we? Are we ok? Am I ok?
Sadly, it is often from this place of unconscious doubt that so many of us relate with others often leading to co-dependency and unhealthy dynamics founded upon fragmented understandings of our inner world.
The best intimacy begins with an experience of self-love, expression, and inner alignment. Becoming known to ourselves. Whether it is through a practice of meditation or journaling, we begin to discover the core of who we are, the depths of our inner essence, the beauty of our hearts.
This can be a confronting process, which is perhaps why it is so overlooked in our culture. The honesty inquiry required to see ourselves authentically requires courage and steady breath. To equally observe our beauty and darkness with no judgment or action aside from a desire to deeply know the texture of our soul. To explore ourselves as both timeless and new in each moment asks us to be in a constant state of presence and wonder.
Once we begin to genuinely experience ourselves, we can then share a richer more holistic experience of ourselves with others. This expression of connection can be physical, yet often the most intimate experiences are in moments of presence, spoken truth, and the revealing silence between two people willing to let go, see, and be with each other’s humanity.
It requires a willingness to let others see our unresolved nature, our uncertainty, our pain, beauty and shadow. Often these are aspects are connected to woundings of our inner child which coincidentally needs not only the presence and care of others but most importantly needs the loving attention that only personal intimacy can provide.
While challenging and confronting at times to sit with our grief, unanswered questions, and secret longings, the more familiar we are with our inner terrain, the more brightly our hearts and souls can shine.
It’s been said we are all walking each other home. Often the way back is dark, windy, and fumbly. As we cultivate an intimacy with ourselves we become bright lights for others walking their own journeys towards the ever unfolding experience of what it means to be alive, connected, and human.